MASVINGO - The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists vice president Godfrey Mutimba has said that one of the key worries of journalists today is digital security.
Making a key-note speech at the Press Freedom Day Commemorations organised by The Mirror in Masvingo on Saturday, Mutimba said journalists were more and more operating through the internet but this was prone to cyber attacks by Governments, individuals and corporates who would seek to eavesdrop on the journalists' communications in order to determine their sources and location.
He said digital insecurity placed both journalists and their sources at risk.
"The information stored by journalists on their computers and hard drives is subject to attacks and this information can be copied from one's computer without leaving a trace of interference," said Mutimba.
He also bemoaned the unwarranted attacks on journalists by the Police and politicians and other people in the last 12 months.
He said the attacks or arrests of journalists by the Police happened because media laws in the country were yet to be aligned with the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.
"The immediate alignment of media laws with the Constitution is to be done to ensure that the various laws that hinder Press freedom are scrapped or aligned with the Constitution.
"In most cases, laws like POSA, AIPPA and the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act are invocked and journalists are arrested and detained for violating some sections of these harsh laws hence the call for the fast tracking of the alignment of these laws so that the country can have a free Press.
"Journalists deserve special protection since violations of their rights entails violation of others' rights to access information," said Mutimba.
He said there were 23 journalists who were unlawfully arrested in 2016 and 15 were assaulted either by the Police or political activists. In the first few months of 2017 there are already seven such cases," said Mutimba.